Tom Clancy's Desert Storm movie -- The author is working with John McTiernan on ''73 Easting''

These days, everybody is in show biz. For an upcoming film (his Patriot Games comes out June 5), Tom Clancy wanted to make a movie about Operation Desert Storm with hawkish filmmaker John Milius, who rewrote without credit the screenplay of the Clancy best-seller The Hunt for Red October.

But when Clancy and Milius visited the Pentagon to consult Army officials on the story, they found that the three officers they were to meet had just signed with the William Morris agency. Worse, the officers were already acting as technical consultants on a rival Desert Storm project: Universal’s 73 Easting (code words for a battle line in Iraq) with director John McTiernan, who, ironically, had directed Red October. Clancy was convinced to join up to write the 73 Easting screenplay; Milius walked away from the project, stopping by the Marines on the way out to consult them about his future Desert Storm movie. That one won’t happen right away, though. Milius says: ”I decided there was no point in creating a race between competing projects.” Can the Air Force be far behind?